Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Here are some great Thanksgiving dinner meals ideas AND their recipes. So, these Thanksgiving meal plans cover all areas like light, small, hearty, traditional, & non-traditional themes. Also, it’s a part of our Food Guides and is listed in our Holiday Dinner Suggestions article.

Small & Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas for 2 to 5 People

Firstly, these are mostly traditional small Thanksgiving dinner meals for 2 to 5 people. They’re still a lot of sides and extras for a great holiday dinner.

Carving Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Carving Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

TURKEY Idea 1: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • dinner rolls
  • simple lettuce salad
  • pecan pie

TURKEY Idea 2: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Turkey
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Dressing/Stuffing with gravy
  • crescent rolls
  • cucumber salad
  • cheesecake

TURKEY Idea 3: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Dressing/Stuffing
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • homemade yeast rolls
  • cantaloupe salad
  • pecan pie
Grilling Spiral Baked Ham for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Grilling Spiral Baked Ham for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

HAM Idea 1: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • dinner rolls and/or cornbread muffins
  • simple lettuce salad
  • pecan pie

HAM Idea 2: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Ham
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Dressing/Stuffing with gravy
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • dinner rolls
  • cucumber salad
  • cheesecake

HAM Idea 3: Cozy Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Ham
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Potato Salad
  • crescent rolls
  • cantaloupe salad
  • pecan pie

Lighter Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas for 2-5

Light dinners are usually for a small number of people, although they don’t have to be. Also, this is a good idea if you’re wanting to avoid a heavy holiday meal. So, here are a few lighter meal plans with lots of options. In this case, enjoy for a casual and simpler, lighter holiday dinner. Overall, build your meal based on choices.

LIGHTER Idea 1: TURKEY Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Turkey
  • baked potatoes
  • asparagus with cherry tomatoes
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • strawberries & vanilla yogurt

LIGHTER Idea 2: HAM Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Ham
  • sweet potatoes
  • green beans & carrots
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • strawberries & vanilla yogurt

LIGHTER Idea 3: SALMON Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 2-5

  • Salmon
  • saffron rice
  • zucchini & yellow squash
  • shrimp cocktail
  • chocolate covered raisins

Larger Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas for 6-20

Generally, these are for the more busy, active holiday dinner meals. So, for less guests, go with the smaller count of choices. For example, if you’re having 8 guests, choose 3-4 sides. However, if having about 20 guests, you’ll want to be closer to having 5-6 different sides. So, for more guests, it’s fine to have all kinds of menu items. To summarize, keep reading to see all the options later in the “All Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes …” section.

Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas
Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas

TURKEY Idea 1: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Turkey
  • Dressing/Stuffing with Gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Zucchini & yellow squash
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Dinner Yeast Rolls
  • Homemade white bread
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  • Simple lettuce salad
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad with Ranch Dressing
  • Pecan pie
  • Chocolate chip cookies

TURKEY Idea 2: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Turkey
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Baked macaroni & cheese
  • Dressing/Stuffing with Gravy
  • Crescent rolls
  • Homemade white bread
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  • Cucumber salad
  • Cheesecake
  • Strawberries & vanilla yogurt

TURKEY Idea 3: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Turkey & Ham
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Dressing/Stuffing with Gravy
  • Asparagus with tomatoes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Dinner Yeast Rolls
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  • Cantaloupe salad
  • Pecan pie
  • Cheesecake

HAM Idea 1: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Ham
  • Mashed potatoes & gravy
  • Green bean casserole
  • Cooked Southern cabbage
  • Zucchini & yellow squash
  • Dinner rolls
  • Cornbread muffins
  • Simple lettuce salad
  • Grapes
  • Cauliflower & broccoli salad
  • Cheesecake
  • Chocolate chip cookies

HAM Idea 2: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Ham
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Dressing/Stuffing with gravy
  • Baked macaroni & cheese
  • Dinner yeast rolls
  • Crescent rolls
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  • Cucumber salad
  • Pecan Pie
  • Cheesecake

HAM Idea 3: Hearty Thanksgiving Dinner Meals for 6-20

  • Ham, Turkey, & Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cooked cabbage or Cabbage Soup
  • Saffron rice
  • Potato Salad
  • Crescent rolls
  • Cornbread muffins
  • Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad
  • Cantaloupe salad
  • Pecan pie
  • Cheesecake

ALL Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes: Customize Your Menu

Thanksgiving Main Course Ideas

Overall, for main courses for 2-5 people, choose 1. Then, for 6-20 people, choose 1-3.

Main Courses for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Main Courses for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Thanksgiving Meal Sides

So, for side dishes for 2-5 people, choose 2-3. Then, for 6-20 people, choose 3-6.

Sides for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Sides for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Thanksgiving Recipes Salad

So, for salads for 2-5 people, choose 1-2. Otherwise, for 6-20 people, choose 2-3.

Salads for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Salads for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Bread Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner

Meanwhile, for breads for 2-5 people, choose 0-1. Then, for 6-20 people, choose 1-2.

Breads for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Breads for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

So, for desserts for 2-5 people, choose 1-2. Then, for 6-20 people, choose 2-4.

Desserts for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Desserts for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
  • Pecan Pie
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies such as Chocolate chip
  • Chocolate-covered raisins
  • Strawberries & vanilla yogurt
  • Banana pudding with Vanilla wafers

Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas

Finally, for appetizers for 2-5 people, choose 0-1. Likewise, for 6-20 people, choose 1-3.

Appetizers for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals
Appetizers for Thanksgiving Dinner Meals

Related Meal or Appetizer Ideas

By all means, see below for some of our best long lists of ideas for other events. In the meantime, check out “Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, Grocery List + Tips“.

Conclusion of Thanksgiving Dinner Meals Ideas

Overall, you can now plan out your options for Thanksgiving dinner meals ideas. Moreover, you can start your list. Also, check out the many recipe links or use your own. Likewise, decide what to make and what to buy. Also, you have an idea of what can be made in advance to save time. Share your meal plan that you are deciding on or have done before. Also, here’s another good article about “Thanksgiving Meal Ideas“. Tell me what you’re planning or have made before & leave a comment below.

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